Madison-Plains actors loving one-act plays

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Among the students participating in the Madison-Plains production, “What is Love? An Evening of One-Act Plays,” are: (seated, front) Fiona Stuart, Sara Hoop; (seated at table) Josh Warnock, Jenna Lawless; (standing) Dani Breen, Alisha Higbee, Rhyan Goodman, Bryce Boone, Auburn Pierce and Owen Phillips.

(Posted Feb. 14, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

When Ashley Woodard and her drama students kicked around ideas for this year’s senior showcase, romance came up. Then someone suggested a play about bad first dates. Suddenly, a theme was born.

“What is Love? An Evening of One-Act Plays” takes the Madison-Plains High School stage Feb. 23-25. Showtime is 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students. Tickets are available at the door.

“It’s right around the corner from Valentine’s Day. We thought this would be a great way to have the community come out for a belated Valentine’s Day date night and enjoy some theater,” Woodard said.

The show kicks off with an original monologue written and performed by senior Jen Shafer. Over the course of two to three minutes, Shafer will amuse the audience with a funny take on a single person trying to find love.

“At the start of the school year, I asked if anyone liked to write. Jen said, ‘yes,’ so, I brought up the idea of her writing something for the showcase. She totally jumped on the opportunity and has done a fabulous job,” Woodard said.

Shafer’s monologue is one example of what the senior showcase is all about. While the show includes students of all grade levels, seniors get to plan the show and choose their roles.

Senior Jenna Lawless took the opportunity to try something new. Normally, she serves as stage manager. This time, she’s on stage playing a lead role. She and junior Josh Warnock are the girl and guy at the center of “Check, Please,” a comedy about bad first dates.

“There are 12 students in this cast, and they’ve taken on some interesting challenges,” Woodard said. “One girl has to portray a monkey. Another student learned the names of 15 different phobias and how to pronounce them.”

The second one-act, “The Sequel,” features seniors Zach Marchiando and Samantha Meade as Jack and Millie, a couple in the “maybe not so happily ever-after” phase of their relationship. The two exchange lots of quick dialogue in this four-person comedy.

“Their challenge is to bring that dialogue to life and keep it interesting for the audience,” Woodard said.

The last one-act, “Enemies,” is more dramatic than its predecessors, but, as Woodard puts it, “is feel-good by the end.” The two-person play takes a look at what happens to a couple after they’ve been together for a long time.

“Owen Phillips and Alisha Higbee, both sophomores, are pros. They’re doing a great job of finding those serious moments and embracing what’s needed to get that emotion across to the audience,” Woodard said.

Each of the one-acts is 15 to 20 minutes long.

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